One good reason to start your e-shop with a free theme is that there are lots of help documents, Shopify supports them and the add-on apps in the Shopify App store are developed with support for them. If you are just starting out, I’d recommend sticking with a free theme and learning how to work with it. Generally speaking, the Shopify themes are some of the best on the market in terms of design and usability.
We’ve gathered several popular themes from several communities, recommendations made in the last year. Though Shopify does take care of a lot of things at once, there are still essential design aspects that you will need to take care of yourself. Managing the look and feel of the homepage, generating meta descriptions and author information for products, activating external tools for deeper analytics, adding new content for the purpose of generating organic traffic, and other tiny edits that make a huge difference.
The free themes are great, especially to start off with. “Our sales were over $1M/year before we used a paid theme, so a free theme never held us back”, says a user.
“I should add, I’m not against someone paying for a theme if it works. But I think people get obsessed about the wrong things. There’s no theme that will tweak a product that is mediocre or has bad photographs. The energy spent creating this site sometimes would be better spent on product development or promotions”.
One user of Debut claims that it has the most flexibility of all the free themes. You can see a demo shop below.
Other user says that “if you feel like you’ll have needs for many custom parts your developer may find it easier with Debut. If you don’t plan on too many customizations, I honestly don’t know if any free themes really cut”.
Debut is a nifty free Shopify theme that will present it on the web in the best possible light. All your products and your brand will come into view beautifully with Debut. You also have an option to pick between two different styles out of the box. In addition to that, you can also lightly tweak the style so it suits your taste ideally. Needless to say, you do not need to code and perform any advanced tasks when working with Debut. The tool is for everyone, beginners and pros.
There are also various features that will do you well. From slideshow and live search function to testimonials, promotional banner and product filtering, Debut rocks it all and plenty more. You can also enrich your website with a video, telling your story or promoting a new product drop.
The Narrative theme is one that comes with three versions.
What sets it apart from the rest of the free themes from Shopify is that you can use videos for your sliders. It is called Narrative because the theme was designed to tell a story.
The web page has very minimal clutter. Everything that you place on this website is important as if every part of it is convincing the customer to make a purchase. The rating is standing right now at 69% positive.
Minimal Shopify theme – “less is more”
Some themes were designed to be bold and daring, while some say so much more being less. Web designs that don’t have a lot of content are those that capitalize on minimalist art. … This theme is designed to be a “less is more” theme.
Minimal is a Shopify template developed based on modern technologies such as CSS 3, HTML 5 and Sass CSS. This theme has a beautiful design and eye-catching customers at first sight. It suits the fashion stores, apparel, clothing, shoes, jewelry, accessories, etc.
In addition, Minimal Shopify theme can meet all different devices. Moreover, it comes with tons of powerful modules like SEO, Mega Menu, Revolution Slider, Slideshow, Ajax, Google Rich Snippets, Google web fonts, etc. Surely you will be satisfied with what Minimal Shopify theme brings.
Minimal theme has a very good rating of 86% positive reviews on Shopify.
Brooklyn Shopify Theme “and you’ll be in great shape!”
“You’ll be in great shape with either Brooklyn or Debut, tons of users and support articles for when you need customizations down the road”, says one Shopify user of both free themes.
“Going strong with Brooklyn for 3 years. Around 100 SKUs in stock at a time. Very minimal customization done/few apps used. You can check it out here to see if what you see meets your needs” – https://www.bumpadum.com says another Shopify eCommerce entrepreneur.
Its one of the best free Shopify themes online and it was designed for businesses that have large inventories, which is similar to the Shopify Venture theme. You can upload up to 50 products in this theme and it is also a good choice for those that only have a few products.
Brooklyn Shopify theme features a clean and image-centric design with fully customizable layout and typography. Two built-in styles, classic and playful, allow users to add the appropriate character to their store depending on which industry they are operating in. You can experience both styles through the free demo available on the Shopify theme store.
Brooklin has a good 74% positive reviews on Shopify.
Venture Shopify Theme – three different layouts
The Venture Shopify theme is free and an excellent solution for outdoor products and adventure sports stores. The product pages on Venture are also clean and don’t look cluttered. This is great, because you can feature large product images and really showcase the item with minimal distractions.
Venture theme for Shopify comes with three different layouts with each catering to a different type of eCommerce store.
Snowboarding layout sport a blue-colored theme that’s very suitable for selling snowboarding and other snow toys. It’s also great for selling water-activity products.
Then there is Outdoors, this layout is all about exciting adventures and gives off a more rugged look that’s suitable for online stores selling camping and trekking products.
Finally, the Boxing layout is pretty self-explanatory. It’s mostly suitable for selling t-shirts and other accessories that are related to boxing, martial arts, MMA, etc.
Even though it seems to be a good theme, the reviews are mixed, with only 46% of reviews being positive.
Here is a comprehensive video on chosing a free theme for your Shopify eCommerce business.
Two useful tips
If you see a Shopify eCommerce business that you love and you want to find out on what theme it’s built on, you can try using https://whatstoretheme.com tool. If you need it to be FASTER and much better overall, diminishing the app clutter, install VITALS, a 5 star review “bundle of apps” which can really make a big difference businesswise.
One more thing. If you do decide to buy a theme, make sure the developers are big enough that they are keeping up with the Shopify updates. There are plenty of unfortunate stories of people who paid several hundred dollars on a premium theme just to find out it wasn’t updated enough for their needs.